From 2 February to 7 July there will be a giant exhibition about Auriea’s artistic career in the New York Museum of the Moving Image, starting with sketchbooks from the early 1990s all the way to new digital sculptures created for the show. Since during a large chunk of that period (from 1999 to 2019) we were working together, a lot of the pieces in the show are collaborations: web projects by Entropy8Zuper! and videogames by Tale of Tales.
The exhibition will focus on her contributions to our work, which have always involved digital sculpture. While mine (interactivity, atmosphere, soundscapes, etcetera) have become somewhat of a lost art. After the web was ruined by social media we stopped creating art for the web and switched to videogames. And when those were ruined we quit videogames too. Initially in favor of Virtual Reality but that seems to be over now as well.
Auriea was able to make the step towards the world of contemporary fine art and continue her artistic activity in that context. But I have not. Digital art has, from the beginning, been a way for me to stay away from the world of modern art in favor of direct contact with an audience made possible by the internet. I was also seduced by and am still very fond of the unique possibilities of the realtime medium that cannot properly be experienced in the traditional fine art context and for which no other platform was ever developed.
But the most important reason why I stay away from the art world is me. I don’t respond well to the challenges posed by the contemporary art world. I don’t like who I become in confrontation with an environment that I experience as cynical, shallow and driven by money and power and dogmatic politics. But above all, I’m afraid I don’t like most modern and contemporary art. And I don’t enjoy being in an environment where I dislike the work of most of my colleagues. It was fun for a while when I was making games but I guess I feel too old for that kind of easy rebellion now.
For me, Auriea’s exhibition crowns my new faith. Three years ago I converted to Catholicism. Christianity has taught me a way of living and loving that has made me a much happier person. As an atheist I would never have been able to tolerate the injustice of an exhibition of our collaborative work presented as hers alone. I would have been so angry. It would have probably lead to a divorce. But as a Christian I’m happy to disappear. It’s the eagerly desired response to my many Litanies of Humility. And it makes me profoundly happy to find myself capable of enthusiastically supporting my wife. We recently got married in church. And this exhibition, or at least my modest role in it, extends our holy matrimony: she is the Bride, the Holy Jerusalem, adorned and pure. I am her servant. I lay down my life for her. This is all I want. This is who I am. Finally.